The wait finally ended last week and Tom Brady proved to everyone why he is the greatest to play the position. With dropping 400 yards on the Cleveland Browns last week, we take a look at what Brady and company will do this week against a hungry Bengals team.
Harris begins this week recapping last week’s win over the Cleveland Browns with guest co-host, Matthew LaValley.
There was a lot to be happy with in the win, but one thing Harris and Matt marveled over was the duo of Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. Questions about the potential of this combination were raised and led them to wonder if Gronk and Marty could be better than Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. “You have to think so” Harris answered and Matt agreed with him and went as far as saying “I think this is Brady’s most dangerous team yet”. Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennet combined for 11 receptions, 176 yards, and 3 Touchdowns with all 3 going to Bennett.
Harris and Matt then look into this week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals and spoke with Bleacher Reports Joe Goodberry. “They have been a mediocre team at best” Matt confidently stated.
Goodberry felt the same and elaborated on the problems that plague the Bengals. Pinning some of the blame on head coach Marvin Lewis and Quarterback Andy Dalton. Joe felt they the Bengals are “A little bit down this year” and that they lack identity and explained “A lot of times that is coaching” who is to blame for that.
For all the blame Marvin Lewis receives, Goodberry feels that the loss of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is a big reason for their offensive woes this season. “I think that was about big loss” in regards to Jackson. One other area of concern is their offensive line “They haven’t been able to block anybody up front” Goodberry said.
Lastly, Joe put much of the blame on Andy Dalton stating that “For as great of a guy he is, he is kind of a square” and “I don’t know if he really commands the offense the way some other good quarterbacks do”. He then said that the offense is based around AJ Green and not Dalton “Obviously he is the best player on their offense, he may be the best player on the team… The entire offense feeds off of him”. He even went on to say the team takes on the identity of Vontaze Burfict rather than their Quarterback “I think the team takes the identity of Vontaze Burfict a lot”.
Harris and Matt then brought in special guest, Ben Volin, from the Boston Globe.
Volin feels confident about the Patriots this year and especially their offense. “This might be the best he’s had” and “Certainly look like the team to beat in the AFC right now” Volin said about this year’s New England Patriots team.
Volin is especially impressed with the offensive line and the work they are doing. “Run blocking especially, Solder has been excellent” he explained about Solder’s comeback year. Ben Volin expresses his satisfaction even more with quotes like “I think they’ve got into a good rhythm” and “They’re coming together as a unit”. Clearly, Dante Scarnecchia has been one of the top acquisitions of this past offseason.
One area that is of concern for Volin is the defense of this Patriots team. “Every time the opponent gets down there they score points and it’s mostly touchdowns” and “So they’re not bending often, but when they do bend they break” he said in regards to their low ranked red zone defense. Volin then criticizes the defensive line’s ability so far this season and feels that “The pass rush has been very average”.
Overall though, Volin feels that the Patriots have a good matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals this week.
This week proves to be a test for the Patriots. With a top receiver coming in to Gillette and multiple other weapons on their offense, the defense can prove themselves with a good showing against such great weapons. Tom Brady and the offense will have their hands full with an aggressive Vontaze Burfict led defense, but can prove last week’s showing against the Cleveland Browns was no fluke.
Check out Patriots Beat Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher to hear what else Harris, Matt, Joe, and Ben said.